St. Pierre & Miquelon from Rattlesnake Mtn

Judy and I hiked up Rattlesnake Mountain overlooking Squam Lake this afternoon. It was gorgeous! And… I worked St. Pierre and Miquelon, Belgium and Florida.

The hike is pretty simple… about 40 minutes. Huge rock ledges cap the peak at about 500 feet above the lake. It was sunny and about 72F. A perfect day for an outing.

I set up on a northern ledge and tossed my line into a stubby pine tree that was about 25 feet above the rock. I had a sloper.

I started out on 30 meters and heard FP/G3ZAY on St. Pierre and Miquelon. These two French islands sit off the coast of Newfoundland… a favorite for small dxpeditions. I was thrilled to work them from Rattlesnake Mtn. because I’d been trying unsuccessfully for a couple of days from home. We exchanged quick 599s and I switched to 20 meters.

As I tuned across the band I heard Bernie KB4JR calling CQ from Florida. He gave me a 559 and we chatted for a few minutes before signing. A little farther down the band John ON4UN was calling CQ from Belgium. He was strong as always and we had a quick exchange. I told him I was QRP on a mountain top and he wished me well.

Judy and I had a snack before packing up. Judy got a quick photo as I enjoyed the view a final time before heading down.

Early Fall QRP on the Pemigewasset

There is a certain fragrance. The colors are shifting. The air is still except for the sound of crickets. It’s early fall on the Pemi. I stop at a bend in the dirt road and check out the giant pine tree for antenna possibilities.

I toss a line over an arching branch and pull up my 33 foot wire. I set up the KX3 on 20 meters. Now the sound of Morse mingles with the sound of crickets. Stations from Washington operating in the Salmon Run event are calling CQ.

I work six stations in a row and then switch to 30 meters. I call Jerry WA4FQN in TN. He gives me a 559 signal report and we chat for a while. Here’s my log:

17 Sep-17 1908 14.045 W7LKG CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1910 14.045 K7GS CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1911 14.052 N7KE CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1912 14.047 W7VXS CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1913 14.047 WC7Q CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1927 14.041 K7RI CW 599 599 WA
17 Sep-17 1928 10.121 WA4FQN CW 559 599 TN Jerry

You cannot imagine how precious these days are. They are the fleeting days of warm weather in New Hampshire. The hills and valleys soon turn to gold and orange and red. We are in a twilight zone before the cold of winter. The world is ours…. for a while.

WAE from the Railroad Station (QRP)

Judy and I rode our bicycles from Andover to the Potter Place railroad station. I operated in the Worked All Europe contest and managed 9 countries in 20 minutes. The weather was perfect and 20 meters was in good shape.

What a day for a bike ride… a perfect August afternoon. It was nearly 80F with a nice breeze. We arrived at Potter Place around 3:00 pm. I tossed a half wave wire over a maple tree on the hill over looking the old station. There was a picnic table directly underneath. I used the KX3 on 20 meters.

The band was full of stations operating in the WAE contest. I had no trouble making contacts. I’ve changed my log to show the countries worked.

13 Aug-17 1925 14.041 SN7Q CW 599 599 Poland
13 Aug-17 1927 14.036 OM3RM CW 599 599 Slovak Rep
13 Aug-17 1928 14.031 RU1A CW 599 599 Russia
13 Aug-17 1930 14.030 DM6V CW 599 599 Germany
13 Aug-17 1933 14.030 HG5F CW 599 599 Hungary
13 Aug-17 1935 14.019 S500R CW 599 599 Slovenia
13 Aug-17 1936 14.021 DP6A CW 599 599 Germany
13 Aug-17 1938 14.023 R6AF CW 599 599 Russia
13 Aug-17 1942 14.033 ED2A CW 599 599 Spain
13 Aug-17 1944 14.039 YO9HP CW 599 599 Romania
13 Aug-17 1945 14.043 9A1AA CW 599 599 Croatia

After nearly a dozen QSOs, I packed up for the return ride. The results from operating QRP out of a backpack with a short wire must be the closest thing to pure magic. Combined with a glorious bike ride… well… it’s fantastic!

QRP from the Seashore

Judy and I drove over to the beach today. It was glorious! We got lots of sun, had a fantastic walk, and I operated in the CWT sprint for a few minutes. The highlight of the operating was making a beach-to-beach QRP QSO with K4KRW in North Carolina.

We drove over to Rye Harbor in the morning and had a picnic lunch as soon as we arrived. Then we walked a couple of miles along the beach. After this Judy lay down on the shore to soak up some sun. I rode my bike about a half mile inland to play radio for a while. I’d brought a kite, but there wasn’t quite enough wind to lift an antenna… so I went in search of some trees. I found a wildlife area not too far from the road. A narrow path leads through the woods to a platform overlooking a beautiful inland marsh.

Except for the heat (high 80s in the shade), the spot was perfect. I had a 30 foot tree nearby and set up the wire as a sloper. The little deck even had a chair and a bench to operate on. I ran the KX3 on 20 meters and right away worked IK0YVV in Italy. Marco gave me a 559. Then I worked Gilly, WA5SNL in Texas. He also gave me a 559.

After signing I tuned up to the QRP frequency. K4KRW, Richard, was calling CQ. To my delight, he was operating from a beach in North Carolina with a KX3 and an end-fed wire. But… his wire was lifted by a kite! After arriving home, I found an email from Richard with a photo of his operating position.

We had a great QSO and exchanged 559 signal reports. What a thrill to work another KX3 operator on the beach!

Now the CWT sprint had started and I joined in. I only operated for 10 minutes, because by now my shirt was drenched and I’d had enough of this heat. Here’s my log. I’ve changed it to reflect the other station’s QTH instead of the CWOPS member number used in the real exchange:

19 Jul-17 1840 14.028 IK0YVV CW 559 579 Italy Marco
19 Jul-17 1848 14.029 WA5SNL CW 559 579 TX Gilly
19 Jul-17 1854 14.060 K4KRW CW 559 559 NC Richard
19 Jul-17 1902 14.036 AA3B CW 599 599 PA Bud
19 Jul-17 1903 14.035 K9CT CW 599 599 IL Craig
19 Jul-17 1903 14.034 AD8J CW 599 599 NC John
19 Jul-17 1905 14.032 K4RO CW 599 599 TN Kirk
19 Jul-17 1907 14.026 N4ZZ CW 599 599 TN Doc
19 Jul-17 1908 14.036 N2SR CW 599 599 NJ Tom
19 Jul-17 1909 14.034 NR4M CW 599 599 VA Steve

With this I packed up and headed back to Rye Harbor. This is really a beautiful spot. Wild rugosa roses form a hedge along the road and fill the air with fragrance. Next to the harbor is a little state park with facilities. It’s a perfect place to spend the day.

IARU HF Contest from Old Hill Village

Judy and I rode our bicycles along the Pemigewasset River at Old Hill Village this afternoon. I operated the IARU contest on 20 meters. I worked Latvia, Puerto Rico, England, Spain, Germany and four states. What a beautiful day.

We passed through a low area along the river. It was covered with debris from flooding earlier this week.

But there were only a couple of impassable sections; the rest was gorgeous. The trail was strewn with wild flowers… yarrow, buttercups, vetch and daisies to name a few.

We rode south along the trail for more than two miles and stopped under an old butternut tree. Here I tossed my 33 foot wire over a high branch.

I set up the KX3 at the edge of the trail and sat down to operate.

Making contacts was easy. Stations were strong and plentiful. Band conditions were good. I operated for about 20 minutes and made 11 QSOs. Here’s my log… I’ve replaced the ITU zone with the QTH, so you can see where I made contacts:

08 Jul-17 1951 14 DJ7UC CW 599 599 Germany
08 Jul-17 1954 14 K3TN CW 599 599 MD
08 Jul-17 1955 14 W4ML CW 599 599 VA
08 Jul-17 1956 14 YL4HQ CW 599 599 Latvia
08 Jul-17 1957 14 K4P CW 599 599 Puerto Rico
08 Jul-17 2002 14 GR2HQ CW 599 599 England
08 Jul-17 2003 14 K4AB CW 599 599 AL
08 Jul-17 2006 14 K2DSW CW 599 599 IA
08 Jul-17 2008 14 DL0CS CW 599 599 Germany
08 Jul-17 2010 14 EF4HQ CW 599 599 Spain
08 Jul-17 2013 14 W0FLS CW 599 599 IA

Bike Ride and DX from East Andover

Judy and I rode our bikes on the old Northern Rail trail this afternoon. The weather was stunning. I worked England, Greece, Germany and the 13 Colonies station in North Carolina.

We started out across from the East Andover post office and rode our bikes east toward Dyers Crossing. Soon we came to the picnic table at Sucker Brook. I tossed a 33 foot wire over a maple tree and set up the KX3 on 20 meters.

The antenna wasn’t great because it was going in several directions… sloping this way and that around branches. But it worked well enough for me to make a quick QSO with my old friend Tom G3HGE in England. He had some interference and gave me a 449.

K2J in North Carolina was really strong. This is one of the 13 Colonies special event stations. Down the band a bit SV1CQN was calling CQ from Greece. We also made a quick exchange.

I was about to pack up when I heard DL2CC in Germany just finishing up a QSO. Frank was very strong to me and gave me a 559. He sent that he hoped I was having fun QRP portable. I assured him that it was fantastic to be out.

On the way back, Judy reminded me that we’re almost half way through summer.

18 QSOs during Ski Outing

Judy and I went cross-country skiing down at the Pemigewasset River near Profile Falls. I brought the KX3 and made 18 QSOs (in the CWT sprint) including France, Italy and Germany. It was a bit over 50F.

What a fantastic day to be out. We went east from the road about a half a mile toward the river. Here it opens up into a large field. At the far edge are some picnic tables and the river.

I tossed my 30 foot wire over a pine branch and pulled the wire up over the picnic table. In the sun, it must have been over 70F, because I took off my coat and gloves and I was still hot.

I started out on 20 meters. The CWT sprint had been running for a half hour. Except for the sprint, the band seemed dead. I had no trouble making contacts. After making a dozen contacts on 20 meters, I switched to 40 meters and made another six. Here’s my log. I’ve changed the format to reflect a more normal log rather than using the CWT exchange format.

22 Feb-17 1930 14.026 N5ZO CW 599 599 CA Marko
22 Feb-17 1932 14.027 K0AD CW 599 599 MN Al
22 Feb-17 1933 14.035 F6HKA CW 599 599 France Bert
22 Feb-17 1935 14.036 DL2CC CW 599 599 Germany Frank
22 Feb-17 1936 14.040 KM0O CW 599 599 MN Tony
22 Feb-17 1938 14.032 N4ZZ CW 599 599 TN Don
22 Feb-17 1940 14.030 AC4CA CW 599 599 TX John
22 Feb-17 1942 14.029 WJ9B CW 599 599 NC Will
22 Feb-17 1943 14.030 IT9MUO CW 599 599 Italy Alf
22 Feb-17 1944 14.033 N4IQ CW 599 599 SC Bill
22 Feb-17 1947 14.035 K9UIY CW 599 599 Ill Vic
22 Feb-17 1950 7030 NA8V CW 599 599 MI Greg
22 Feb-17 1951 7031 K4HQK CW 599 599 VA John
22 Feb-17 1952 7036 K3WW CW 599 599 PA Chas
22 Feb-17 1953 7037 CG3KI CW 599 599 ON Rich
22 Feb-17 1954 7039 N3RS CW 599 599 PA Sig
22 Feb-17 1956 7039 VE3KP CW 599 599 ON Ken
22 Feb-17 1957 14.035 K4BAI CW 599 599 GA John

With this I packed up and headed back to the car. It’s been a long winter with plenty of snow during the last month. What a thrill to be outdoors again with a rig.


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  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor